How NZ’s Contact Energy IT services reinvented their reputation

A proactive effort to change not just its branding but its whole communication philosophy delivered on its awhi goal for IT service.

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You can swap out a tool, but if you don’t make the cultural change then the deployment can struggle to be a success. That was the experience of the IT service operations team at Contact Energy, one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies, with more than 550,000 connections across electricity, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and broadband products.

When head of IT service operations Kylee Bently joined Contact Energy in late 2019, the team was mired in a transition to replace its ServiceNow platform with the Cherwell (aquired by Ivanti) tool set. Her first call was to pause the project, have some “honest conversations” with the vendor, and ultimately choose a different implementation partner. The new company, Streamline, proved a much better fit, and although based in Australia, the geographical distance became a nonissue once COVID-19 struck.

Beyond branding: Communications exercise strengthens the IT service operation

Bently says that even more fundamental than getting the right partner was to look at how the 37-strong IT services team was communicating internally, and how to go about improving how they interacted with the business.

“Engagement excellence is all about, for want of a better word, our brand out to the business. How are we seen? How do we engage? How do we make sure that the tools that we give them and the information that we provide them with is actually fit for purpose and that they see us as a source of information and support?” she says.

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